Neive and the castle

Neive owes its name to an important and noble Roman family “Gens Naevia”, or “Naevii” and became a municipality around the end of the 12th century. An old castle, perched on the top of the hill, existed even then, but was destroyed in 1274 during a military reprisal. In 1530 the Savoy kings of Piedmont acquired control of the territory and transformed Neive into a feud under the rule of Marquis Vittorio Amedeo Dal Pozzo, who became the first Count of Neive.At the beginning of the 18th century, the Count of Castelborgo, Manfredo Bongioanni, decided to build the new castle over foundations dating back to the 16th-17th century. The imposing structure is situated in what in medieval times had been Neive’s south-western border; a defensive wall complete with sentry boxes links the castle and its gardens to the Southern Gate of the town. The construction lasted several years and the date of completion can be traced back to 1753, when – as a memorial plaque testifies - the beautiful internal chapel was officially unveiled. Particularly remarkable is the baroque altar realized with marbles of different colours, quite unusual for a private residency. The castle’s cellars – where wine is still produced and bottled – were purposefully designed to serve the same function they do nowadays. They have very high ceilings to allow the use of big barrels. In these cellars, during the 19th century, the French oenologist and wine trader Oudart was operating as a consultant of the Count of Castelborgo. He was the first one in the area to obtain a dry, stable and therefore easily exportable wine from nebbiolo grapes: he called it ‘Neive’ and in 1857 this wine won a gold medal in London. The first ‘Barbaresco’ was produced thirty years later, using the same techniques employed by Oudart. The rest of the structure is partly used as a residence by the Stupino family, partly for receiving and entertaining: see the charming hall, music hall, dining room and gallery